Connected NYCHA: Meet Amalia

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Amalia has been taking Senior Planet classes since 2016, but it wasn’t until joining the Connected NYCHA that she tapped into the joys of using technology in her day-to-day life. From supporting friends across the country by sending them food virtually or learning how to knit through an online class, Amalia is thriving online. 

What was it like transition to online learning after doing in-person for years? 

Online was better because I was at home, relaxed. And because of the pandemic, I was forced to experiment.  

For instance, I have a friend all the way in Florida who I wanted to send some food. Without Senior Planet’s help, I wouldn’t have learned how to do that. Ever since then, I can send him supermarket food every week. Then I learned how to get into Amazon to order all my yarn – and that was cool. I learned to knit (pictured above left) through a virtual class because of the pandemic.  

Is there any trainer in particular you want to shout out? 

Oh, all of them! When I say they are fantastic, they are fantastic. 

Especially with the technology we never thought we would attempt to use – we always thought we could rely on somebody else to use it for us. But because of the pandemic, we have to depend on ourselves to do it. 

“We have to depend on ourselves.”

What would you tell someone who is intimidated by the idea of learning how to use new technology? 

This is going to be a part of the rest of our lives. It’s like going to a martial arts self-defense class. You don’t need to have to pick up a 110lb weight right away, they’re going to show you the basics so you don’t get hurt and you don’t feel like you’re helpless. It’s the same thing when Senior Planet is teaching you about the computer. 

You end up learning from each other too. My friend taught me how to find my old favorite music online and my other friends wanted to move her photos from one device to another, so I sat with her and we used what I had learned in classes to figure it out between the two of us. 

What does aging with attitude mean to you? 

It’s aging with knowledge and knowledge is power. 

Pam Hugi is Senior Planet’s Community and Advocacy Manager. Based in Brooklyn, she runs Senior Planet’s Supporter program in addition to being a contributing writer for this site. She can be reached at

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